Some Blue House officials doubtful the US Secretary of State's remarks will make much impactUS Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a significant gesture for dialogue toward North Korea at a public event.
Speaking at a policy forum in Washington DC on Tuesday, the secretary of state told the audience: "We've said from the diplomatic side we're ready to talk any time North Korea, would like to talk, and we're ready to have the first meeting without precondition".
While declaring that Washington's aim was not regime-change, Tillerson again put pressure on China, saying: "The president would like to see China cut off the oil [to North Korea]". "I think it is unusual to hear that". North Korea has hinted that it would be willing to take part in negotiations, but as they have not been forthcoming, appears to have concluded that its nuclear arsenal is its only means of defence.
USA embassy's move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is "probably no earlier than three years out", said the Secretary of State.
After his four-day visit, the North's state-run media said that Pyongyang will communicate "through visits at different level on a regular basis in the future". By mentioning a "precondition", Tillerson was apparently referring to North Korea's willingness to denuclearize and actions showing its sincerity, which have been treated as the implied condition for resuming dialogue according to the policy of "strategic patience" under the Obama administration.
Tillerson stressed the USA would not accept a nuclear-armed North Korea, as it flouts worldwide norms and might spread weapons technology to non-state groups in ways that other nuclear powers have not.
With a note of desperation, Tillerson continued: "We're ready to have the first meeting without preconditions".
Tillerson's comments are another warning that the United States war drive against North Korea is accelerating. He said that there have been cases in which his push for talks were rebuffed by President Donald Trump.
Tillerson's remarks to the Atlantic Council appear to be a last ditch attempt to start talks to try to prevent a conflict that could spiral out of control. "The North's declaration that it has completed its nuclear armament, in particular, could be understood as a way to signal that Pyongyang might be pursuing turning things around (through talks)", he said.
"We can talk about the weather if you want", he said on December 12. "What we have to see is whether the USA will come out with any follow-up action such as an actual proposal of talks or any efforts to activate its purported NY communication channels with the North". He said that countries such as China and Russian Federation might have to create a mood for talks.
"We are ready to talk any time North Korea would like to talk". The ball is now in the court of the North, and it remains to be seen whether and how the country will respond.
"We simply can not accept a nuclear-armed North Korea", he said, stressing for everyone present that "there are multiple military options that have been developed to deal with a failure on my part". The latest differences emerge amid growing signs that the Trump administration is preparing to wage war against the Pyongyang regime in the coming months unless it capitulates completely to U.S. demands. "It generated a window of opportunity for talks". As for India, Tillerson had a lot more positive things to say, including that the USA is very keen to add India to its existing strong trilateral relationship with Japan and Australia.